Author: Stuart White

Opinion

New domicile law in Jammu & Kashmir

In view of the removal of Article 370 of Indian constitution by the Indian parliament on August 5 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs recently issued an order that substitutes the term “permanent resident” with “domiciles of UT of J&K” (new Kashmir domicile law). This has become a matter of concern in both Jammu region and Kashmir valley, which are now constituent parts of the newly created Union Territory of J&K.The new Kashmir domicile law, effectively speaking, takes the power of defining “permanent resident” from the erstwhile assembly of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, and introduces a new category of “domiciles” of the Union Territory of J&K.The new law allows entry of nonresidents (defined by the now revoked Article 35A) into the state along with giving them access to t
Creeping religiosity in Pakistan
Opinion

Creeping religiosity in Pakistan

It is not by accident that the dark forces of bigotry and obscurantism have become stronger than ever in Pakistan. The regularization of madressahs and the reform of their curriculam were given top priority in the National Action Plan of 2014. While that plan remains unimplemented due to the obduracy of the religious lobby, some school textbooks will not be published unless they are approved and cleared by a religious body. Where is the sanction for this extraordinary decision?It sounds strange that even after 40 years of effort by Ziaul Haq and his successors to impose their version of Islam on the people, a law has to be enacted and executive orders issued to persuade young people to study the Quran Sharif. Now, if there are any hearts in which the fear of God should be planted, then the...
Deterrent message to China
World

Deterrent message to China

No matter what the opposition says, the satellite imagery has shown that what happened at Galwan valley on June 15, was a fairly deep incursion into the Chinese side of the LAC in order to force the demolition of a dam. It was in fact a calculated escalation by the Indian side in 50 years. The picture across the Ladakh front show us three clear but separate actions – aggressive action in Galwan to prevent the weaponisation of water; proactive construction in Gogra to cut off Chinese patrols and a formalization of the status quo in Pangong that has been fait accompli at least since 1999.Most crucial is what happened in Galwan. By June 2, satellite imagery had revealed an obstruction on the Galwan River, 650 to 700 m on the Chinese side of the LAC where the river runs south to the north till
Pakistan Still On FATF Grey List: When Will This ‘Farce’ End?
Opinion

Pakistan Still On FATF Grey List: When Will This ‘Farce’ End?

While the rest of the world was busy dealing with lockdowns and COVID-19 related medical news, Islamabad and its army used this 'suspended' time to ‘clean their house’ and deal with a couple of hot issues. In their own way, of course.And the hottest issue on the table was the FATF meeting. June has come, and again, Pakistan will try and avoid being blacklisted by the FATF. So naturally, Pakistan must keep its house in order.Due to the increasing scrutiny on the activities of the terror groups in Pakistan by the FATF, the the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has, in the last few months, been tirelessly working towards shifting the training camps of groups like the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad to Afghanistan.Further, with Taliban’s influence growing in Afghanistan, especially afte
Creeping silence
Opinion

Creeping silence

It is not new to hear about the curbed academic freedom in Pakistan. What is somewhat new is the frequency with which lecturers, professors, researchers, students, and even writers feel threatened now in both private and public-sector universities. These threats are of multiple nature and presumably emanate from various quarters.For Pakistan, it is essential that people everywhere are encouraged – and especially young people – to think critically and come up with ways to tackle the problems that have darkened the lives of so many in the country. Social inequality, bigotry, ethnic division and other kinds of hate are problems which we simply cannot ignore for long. Yet people who are able to effectively convey the meaning of critical thinking and dissent, in many nations, are being weeded o
What the China-India border clashes mean for all of us
Opinion

What the China-India border clashes mean for all of us

It has been decades that India and China engaged in a clash but June 15th, this year marked the first use of deadly force by the Chinese military against a neighboring state in the 21st Century. While these events have taken many by surprise, Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly made it clear that, as in the 20th Century, in this century too, the use of force will be an integral part of his Communist Party’s approach to its region and to China’s rise to power.It is not just India which faced the Chinese military on the battle field, in the years following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, Communist Party leaders have used their military against the United States, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Soviet Union, and the United Nations Command in Korea, an internati
Time for an assertive force posture against China
Opinion

Time for an assertive force posture against China

China’s recent intrusions in Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso has once again proved that after years of serious efforts to accommodate or somewhat appease China, India has not yet learned any meaningful lessons about the Chinese strategic mindset. After annexing Tibet, Mao said, Tibet is the palm, and now they must get the five fingers- Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, and Arunachal Pradesh. However, India's early leadership was perceptive enough to visualize this and act accordingly by warming up to the five fingers. History between India and ChinaIn 1954, India and China signed the Panchsheel agreement or the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. With it, also began India’s implied support to the doctrine of the “One-China” policy. However, Communist Party of China’s expansionist plans co
Opinion

Savage horror of India-China border clash serves as a warning to avoid the unthinkable

What really happened on the night of June 15 in the disputed Aksai Chin-Ladakh region in the western Himalayas?So far, all we know about the worst bloodletting between India and China in 60 years of border tensions is what Indian media reports. They are mostly unverified, nationalistic, one-sided accounts citing anonymous sources, but will have to suffice in the absence of more official details about what went down in one of the most desolate places on the planet.The showdown at 14,000 feet came after military commanders on the ground had agreed that both sides would pull their troops away to create a buffer zone above the confluence of the Galwan and Shyok rivers.All hell broke loose when an Indian colonel took a group of soldiers back to the scene to ensure the People’s Liberation Army w
Opinion

Hundred days of arrest for a case with no evidence

It has been hundred days since Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Editor-in-Chief of Jang Group has been in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) detention, held behind bars.In the most recent development, a bench of the Lahore High Court adjourned the hearing in his bail petition in a 34-year-old land property case on the grounds that the bench had received the case files late. Previously, another bench hearing the case had been dissolved due to the unavailability of one of its members. The court has already sought a reply from NAB on the petition.As per the details of the case, there is no real justification for there to even be a case regarding the purchase of the land. Nevertheless, Mir Shakil still continued to cooperate with NAB. And now we have a situation where even after a hundred days, there i...
What goes behind China’s army?
Opinion

What goes behind China’s army?

The Chinese army, or better off, the People’s Liberation Army is not a motivated one. During the time I dealt with the PLA while commanding the Nathu La Brigade, I realized how it is plagued by corruption, outdated command structures and unprofessionalism. As Nathu La was the central point for military communications for EC, I had to speak on the telephone with my counterpart every week and meet with him once a month followed by drinks and meal. Even families from both the sides joined in.My counterpart once told me that he gets only one third of what I get. However, they get “compensation” in the form of various perks like free rations, liquor, cigarettes, domestic help, and schooling for children, college fee, vehicle etc. Basically, this is how the cadre survives, and these little perks